The LA and I have been unsatisfied with the state of our backyard for some time, but, well, clearing out the jungle of weeds it had grown was beyond our abilities. We have roughly 600 square yards in this property, and even removing the roughly 1500 square feet of the house (roughly 167 square yards), that's a lot of area, and the weeds were big. We had almost given up... but we decided to ask for help, and our friends most definitely delivered.
Yesterday was a serious Work day; Ric, a very dear friend, came over with tools and knowledge, and absolutely boundless energy. How such a thin man maintains such huge reserves of energy is beyond me; with his help, we improved our lemon tree (which, incidentally, produces the sweeter Meyer lemon, edible in its own right and as easy to peel as a mandarin orange) by pruning, trimmed back a willow hanging over (and in fact leaning upon) our back fence, and got a significant amount of the backyard trimmed down to almost bare soil. In the process, we discovered that much of the yard was previously paved. We also managed to kill our cheap weed whacker (for the Brits: strimmer) by losing the spring of the line feeder. Considering just how much use we got from a $25 machine, we're not complaining; we just bought a better one this morning (more cut width, more powerful motor, easier reloading, better cord management) for a little more.
Today was more of a party. We had multiple people over, and some of their children who helped us by harvesting some lemons, and then learning to make lemonade, which kept them out from underfoot as we trimmed and strimmed more of the yard, and discovered a yellowjacket nest; the property managers will be getting a call regarding same!
The job, of course, is not done. It's never finished. It is, however, well started; I can now continue the good work, and as the place improves, invite friends here more. I'll be waiting for the blisters to heal a bit before getting too into continuing, though; this weekend has left me with multiple popped blisters and a strong thirst. Time, I think, to open the bottle of India Pale Ale I've been saving!